Date
24 May 2017
Smartwatches and wristbands may not give an accurate picture of how many calories the user burns during exercise. Photo: consumer.org.hk
Smartwatches and wristbands may not give an accurate picture of how many calories the user burns during exercise. Photo: consumer.org.hk

Accuracy of smartwatches, wristbands varies greatly, tests show

Smartwatches tend to overestimate the calories their users burn, one sample showing a deviation of nearly 80 percent, Sky Post reported Friday, citing test results from the Consumer Council.

The Razor Nabu X, available at around HK$400, gave a reading nearly 80 percent greater than the number of calories burnt.

The reading provided by the HK$4,200 Apple Watch differed from the true figure by only about 10 percent.

Most of the devices were more accurate with their readings of the user’s heart rate.

The Charge HR by Fitbit, Band from Microsoft and the Apple Watch all gave results that varied less than 5 percent from the readings given by professional medical equipment.

However, Asus’ Zenwatch, which can measure only resting heart rates, deviated by over 20 percent in its reading.

On the whole, the Sony Smartband Talk SWR30, the only model that can also serve as a hands-free device, and Fitbit’s Charge HR and Surge received the highest scores in the Consumer Council’s assessment.

Tests on smart wristbands showed that price is not necessarily a reflection of value.

The HK$150 model from Xiaomi, as well as the HK$249 Misdfit Flash, were given the same score, 3.5, as other, more expensive models with price tags north of HK$1,000.

The Consumer Council said these wristbands could yield higher readings owing to involuntary movements of the user’s arm.

The group suggested users wear these wristbands on their less-dominant arm.

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EL/AC/FL

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